3 Count: Muppet Babies

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1: Disney Accused Of Ripping Off ‘Muppet Babies’ Reboot; ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Scribe Sues

First off today, Dominic Patten at Deadline reports that TV writer Jeffrey Scott has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Disney claiming that the company has violated a series of deals made by their predecessors.

According to the lawsuit, Disney began work in 2015 on a reboot of the Muppet Babies TV series, a show that Scott claims to have copyright ownership of the production bible. However, Scott claims that, despite being brought in and being asked to pitch ideas, Disney had every intention of moving forward with the reboot without either involving him or paying him for his ideas.

Scott says that deals made with the Jim Henson Company, the producer of the show during its initial run, and Marvel Studios, which is a former rightsholder, are being ignored by Disney. As such, he is suing for monetary damages, a “Developed for Television by” credit and an accounting of the show’s profits.

2: The RIAA is Coming for the YouTube Downloaders

Next up today, Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch reports that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice with the coding website GitHub to secure the removal of YouTube-DL, a tool that is used to download videos from YouTube.

According to the complaint, YouTube-DL violates a separate component of the DMCA that makes it illegal to create and distribute tools used to break copyright protection. YouTube-DL is a command-line tool that takes a YouTube URL and allows the user to download the raw audio and video, a form of piracy commonly referred to as stream-ripping.

The takedown comes amid growing concern over stream-ripping, which has grown in popularity in recent years and is seen as the biggest piracy threat facing the music industry. There is no word if the creators of YouTube-DL will file a counternotice to get it restored.

3: Oft-Sanctioned ‘Copyright Troll’ Victimized Client, Says New Malpractice Suit

Finally today, Allison Frankel at Reuters reports that copyright lawyer Richard Liebowitz, well known for his aggressive litigation on behalf of photographers, is now facing a lawsuit himself, this one over malpractice.

Liebowitz has filed over 2,000 copyright infringement lawsuits, most on behalf of photographers targeting various websites that are using their photographs. He has been repeatedly referred to as a “copyright troll” and the way he’s handled various cases has resulted in sanctions against both him and his clients.

Now, one of those clients, photographer Glen Craig, is suing Liebowitz saying that his lawyer attempted to resolve one case without discussing with his clients, and did not have his best interest at heart. He also claims Liebowitz filed a second lawsuit in his name without his permission. As such, Craig has sought out a new attorney and is suing Liebowitz for malpractice.

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